As the cold weather sets in, Ukraine is raising the alarm about Russia's latest strategy, which Ukrainian officials are labeling as "energy terrorism."
President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, who is currently in the U.S. for a UN meeting and a visit to the White House, has expressed concern over Russia's actions, especially as his country continues to battle against Russian forces.
The winter challenge
Ukraine's Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, has revealed that Russia has been targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure for the past few weeks.
This is particularly concerning as winter approaches, a time when the demand for utilities like water, heat, and electricity surges.
"The season for energy terrorism has already started, and we've witnessed the first attacks on regional power plants in the last two weeks," Shmyhal said during an energy conference in Kiev.
While the situation is concerning, Shmyhal assures that Ukraine is better equipped to handle these challenges than it was last year. "We are far more prepared this time around, but it's clear that this winter will be tough," he added.
The war between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, with both sides reporting missile attacks. Russia claims to have shot down 19 Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea and the Crimean Peninsula. On the other hand, Ukraine reports that they have intercepted 40 Russian missiles. The tension between the two countries shows no signs of abating, making the energy attacks even more critical.
Shmyhal emphasized that the dynamics between Ukraine and Russia have shifted from sentimental ties to hard politics. "It's not just about brotherhood anymore; it's about political and economic interests," he said.
Given the severity of the situation, Shmyhal urges immediate action. "We have to face the fact that the dynamics have changed, and act accordingly," he concluded.
The ongoing conflict and the new tactics employed by Russia underline the urgency for Ukraine to bolster its defenses, both military and infrastructural, as winter approaches.